By in Sci Fi & Paranormal

Short Story Review: "The Street" by H. P. Lovecraft

This story begins with the narrator saying that most people don’t believe things and places have souls. The narrator wishes to speak of The Street.

Men of strength and honour fashioned that Street; good, valiant men of our blood who had come from the Blesses Isles across the sea.

He’s speaking, of course, of the New England colonies, “where many Indians lurked.” As the narrative continues, the reader recognizes the American Revolution, the westward expansion and the Civil War. After the First World War, days of evil came, alone with new people.

New kinds of people appeared in The Street; swarthy, sinister faces with furtive eyes and odd features, whose owners spoke unfamiliar words and placed signs in known and unknown characters upon most of the musty houses.

These are terrorists, bent on nothing but destruction. They have covers in places like Petrovitch’s Bakery, the Rifkin School or Modern Economics, and the Liberty Café. It is these interlopers that provoke The Street into action.

Interestingly enough, according to Wikipedia, Lovecraft was reacting to a real world situation. There were parcel bombs beginning in 1914. However, it also reflects Lovecraft’s xenophobia.

I disliked this story, which is unusual for me as, in general, I enjoy Lovecraft’s writing immensely. I cannot recommend it.


Title: “The Street” written 1919 first published in The Wolverine 1920

Author: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Source: ISFDB




©2015 Denise Longrie

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allen0187 wrote on April 2, 2015, 11:23 PM

Thanks for the truthful review. I'm familiar with other Lovecraft stories but this is the first time I've read about 'the Street'. I have to look this one up.

CalmGemini wrote on April 3, 2015, 1:08 AM

I have read the story.This is quite different from other stories from him. I am leaving his Xenophobia aside. Not going into it. Even then, this is not a real,good short story.However, I would say to read it if only to know the difference.

msiduri wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:07 AM

That's a fair assessment. I would never forbid anyone from reading it. It's just that I was disappointed and didn't like it. Aside from the xenophobia, the ending was too pat.

msiduri wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:09 AM

I'd be interested to know what you think. It's unlike other Lovecraft stories in many ways. It's not one of the more well-written ones.

CalmGemini wrote on April 3, 2015, 9:16 AM

When we read we have a feeling something more is going to take place.But nothing . The story just ended.Disappointing end to a disappointing story.

msiduri wrote on April 3, 2015, 12:56 PM

What little action does take place takes place off-stage as it were.